Anger – How To Stop Being A Hot-Head

I was driving home just the other day when a big SUV ahead of me, much larger than my car, slowed down and came to a stop in the middle of the road.  I stopped and waited.  I saw the SUV’s reverse lights go on as it began to back up.  I realized the driver didn’t see me.  I laid on the horn, holding it down until the driver finally saw me and stopped.  Hands of apologetic flurries shot out from both the driver and passenger windows and waved me on.

I drove by, digging the tunes on my radio, and smiled.  Years ago, it would have been a far more confrontational scenario.

I used to be a hot-head…behind the wheel of a car…returning an item at a store…or at home.  After each blow-up I’d be filled with regret.

“I hope that driver didn’t recognize me.”

“How can I be a witness of God’s love to that store clerk ever again?”

“God, please don’t let me screw up my kids!”

My explosions of anger tormented me relentlessly.

I always told myself that I couldn’t control my temper, and I used the excuse that I was just a hot-head.  I consoled myself by saying that was just the way I was, and there was nothing I could do to change my personality.

I read books on anger and studied the Bible on anger.  Nothing changed.  But then one day I picked up a little pamphlet by Jay E. Adams, What Do You Do When Anger Gets The Upper Hand? I experienced an epiphany and was never the same again.

This pamphlet made me realize that I actually did know how to control my temper…when I stood to lose something if I blew my top.  I could be super cool with an employee I wanted to keep, but a raging fool with my children.  I realized that I truly chose when I would control my temper.  At home, I had learned to simply abandon all restraints.

It was time to learn a new behavior.

I decided to practice the same restraints I exercised at the office…while in the most precious environment of all—at home with my family.  Lo and behold, through many prayers and trials I began to change.  My moments of “losing it” grew fewer and farther between.

I used to think it was a good thing to be able to “blow up,” and then simply move on.  I didn’t realize the gaping emotional wounds I left in those floundering in the wake of my explosions.

I’ve since learned that “venting” anger only gives it more life, just as a boiling teapot keeps whistling furiously if you leave it on a hot burner.

A soft answer truly does turn away anger.  We simply need to give ourselves soft answers when the anger starts to boil.  Thomas Jefferson counted to ten, or even one hundred when angry.  I would rather softly whisper to myself, “These are the people I cherish most in this world…my children…my spouse.  If I can control my temper anywhere else, then I can surely control it where it matters most…in the peaceful safe haven of my home.”

Peace.

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6 Responses to “Anger – How To Stop Being A Hot-Head”

  1. Robyn Says:

    I had that problem too. My epiphany came when I decided it had to be His will done and not my own. I then made a decision to let go and let God and got on my knees and prayed for Him to change me. At that point He graciously would “check” my spirit each time I started to explode. I’d get this little “pause” in my mind and I’d then take a deep breath and react in a normal fashion. Sometimes, even today, I say something out loud, like, “OK Robyn, you can talk normal”.

  2. judyransom Says:

    God is good!

  3. tintin Says:

    i had awful hothead driving moment at church yesterday, i deeply regretted…

  4. Laura Says:

    Thank you for writing this — although you posted it two years ago, it is timely for me now, so I am grateful that you leave your posts up. What you say affirms my own thoughts, but I have also to deal with the reality that medicines I am taking for my health problems put me on a hair trigger and make the problem — difficult enough to manage under normal circumstances — feel overwhelming. It’s hard not to hate yourself under these circumstances, so I hope you will pray for me.

  5. garcinia cambogia reviews Says:

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  6. Elaine Says:

    It was good that I have read this.
    Just moments ago I was furiously angry at my bf. I ran into my room and gosh I was flaming red to the point that I was in tears cuz I can’t release my anger.
    After reading some posts, I’ve become calm and normal. And now after several minutes I’ve realized I got super angry with such useless thing, just a delayed text. -.-

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